Central Intelligence Agency drone bombs village in Pakistan

For three days, a plane circled the village of Damadola in northeastern Pakistan. On Jan. 13 in the dark of night, the plane dropped missiles on the remote village. U.S. intelligence officials who had knowledge of the operation say that the plane was a CIA-controlled unmanned “Predator” drone, according to Reuters.

The United States government has declined to comment officially on whether or not it was involved in the Pakistani air strikes.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke with reporters on her way to Liberia.

“We’ll continue to work with the Pakistanis, and we’ll try to address their concerns,” said Rice. “I can’t speak about the specifics of this particular circumstance.”

Villagers said that as many as 30 people, including women and children, may have been killed.

Pakistani officials have set the death toll at 18 people, including 13 civilians.

Provincial authorities believe that between 10 and 12 foreign militants had been invited to a feast in the village on the night of the bombing. Confirmation of the identities of those killed in the bombing is waiting on DNA testing.

According to Reuters, an anonymous official said: “There’s reason to believe that some significant al Qaeda figures were killed. But it isn’t clear who they were or whether Zawahri was one of them.”

However, on Jan. 22, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said to CNN that no evidence had been found to indicate that any al Qaeda leaders were killed.

“The area does see movement of people from across the border,” said Aziz. “But we have not found one body or one shred of evidence that these people were there.”

Early on Jan. 13, anti-U.S. protests erupted throughout Pakistan. An estimated 5,000 people gathered in Khar, the town in the Bajur area closest to Damadola. Protests continued throughout the week, expanding in size thorough the days. On Jan. 21, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protest.

“What ever happened to good old-fashioned assassins?” said Sara Poznik, a Political Science and Sociology double major. Poznik understands the motivations of the protestors. “Such blatant disregard for human life – civilian or otherwise – just proves that America’s obsession with terrorism is hypocritical, self-defeating, and borders on sociopathic behavior.”

Vernie Davis, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, also understands why the Pakistani people are outraged. He believes that the people of Pakistan may see the air strikes as U.S. terrorism.

In order to develop a broader understanding of the world, Davis encourages students to look at events in other countries as if they had happened in our own.

“How would we feel if the situation was reversed?,” said Davis. “We do not view violence the same way when it is not on our soil.